‘Dreams do come true’ – How businessman saved Barham Lakes

Simon Marsh and Martin Wincote with fisherman Andrew Arben at The Barham Lakes in Great Blakenham.
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Simon Marsh and Martin Wincote with fisherman Andrew Arben at The Barham Lakes in Great Blakenham. Photo: Professional Images/@ProfImages. - Credit: Professional Images/@ProfImages

Simon Marsh is living in a dream.

As a boy he would spend countless hours fishing on the shores of Barham Lakes.

In all that time he never imagined he would get the opportunity to call the idyllic slice of Suffolk wildlife his own.

But last year, aged 33, the Suffolk businessman purchased the beautiful angling complex and is determined to transform it into one of the best fishing venues in the UK.

MORE: 'It's not like Lovejoy anymore' - Suffolk village loses another antique storeMr Marsh has spoken of the investment, which was supported by Barclays, and advised budding entrepreneurs to believe in themselves and grasp every opportunity.

"What can I say, dreams do come true and if someone else can do it then so can you", he said.

"I took a bold step out of the ordinary and found the extraordinary, I love the great outdoors and am privileged to save the Barham Lakes from certain landfill, the future for the venue is a mecca for all types of fresh water angling."

Mr Marsh is no stranger to taking a leap of faith and undertaking ambitious projects.

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In 2015 he quit his job to start Highway Assurance Limited in Great Blakenham, which offers a comprehensive range of Professional Traffic Management, Civil Engineering and Road Surfacing.

From humble beginnings the firm now employs more than 100 staff.

Since taking control of the four lakes Mr Marsh has led a huge restocking initiative.

The lakes contain specimens in excess of 45lb carp, 28lb Pike and double figure Bream, Tench and some old Gipping Valley original fish that are in excess of 40 years old.

New stock of carp was introduced into the lakes during the winter of 2018/19 and it is expected that these will be 20lb within a year.

Martin Wincote, business manager at Barclays, Ipswich added: "This is a great story of a Suffolk entrepreneur who has worked hard to build a business employing local people.

"I have no doubt that he will also make a success of Barham Lakes, particularly as this means so much to him.

"We are pleased that we have been able to support him to make his dream come true."

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